NPHET are recommending that face masks be worn by primary school students, from third class upwards.
Events such as Christmas plays, indoor playdates, and children’s birthday parties should also be avoided.
The recent warning also asks that “indoor community gatherings” for children under 12 should now “be avoided” for at least the next two weeks.
Playdates can continue outdoors, but should be kept to small numbers.
NPHET have also recommended that pupils in third class and above should now wear face mask in school.
Children over the age of nine should wear masks on public transport and in shops.
Currently, children over the age of 13 are required to wear face coverings in schools.
Vaccines will also be available for those over the age of five.
Professor Christine Loscher from DCU, told RTE why children should get a vaccination.
She said: “You can’t get away from the fact that they are an unvaccinated cohort and the case numbers in children are so high.
“We’re hearing lots of information coming from schools about the number of outbreaks in every classroom, practically in every school in the country so there’s no getting away from the fact that there’s a high caseload in children at the moment.
“We know that children can have a viral load that’s enough to transmit, and we know that they can transmit it to others. Whether they do this to the same extent as an adult, I think, is immaterial. They can transmit the virus.
“The other thing to remember is that children can often be very asymptomatic, much more so than adults. There may be a situation where, unbeknownst to a child, they’re carrying a virus.
Professor Loscher continued: “If you remember very early in the pandemic, we were all very wary of kids. They were labeled as vectors and people were very wary about them seeing older adults.
“But we will have a much boosted older population going into Christmas this year so I definitely think that it’s safer for older adults to be around other people in general.
“I don’t think that there’s going to be a vaccine programme in place this side of Christmas, but I’d like to see plans put in place so that we could start vaccinating them in at the start of January and actually have some of them vaccinated going back into the classroom.
“How many times have the kids gone on holidays from school and not gone back again? We had this last year and they didn’t go back for three months so parents are very worried and I think a lot of parents would like a vaccine for their child.
“Covid has had a massive impact on their life. If they get Covid and they’re out of the school system for two weeks, their whole family goes into lockdown for at least five days.”
Senior Government ministers will review the latest NPHET letter from Dr Tony Holohan this morning.
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